Cook was in town to visit the club on Thursday, per ESPN. The Bengals reportedly hosted Oklahoma’s Joe Mixon last month, and sent their RB coach to Texas’ pro day, where RB D’Onta Foreman was highly impressive.
Cook is the No. 2 RB in NFL Network draft expert Mike Mayock’s positional rankings, and there’s a wide range of projections for him in the most recent mock drafts of NFL.com analysts, who have him going as high as No. 8 (Charley Casserly) to out of the first round (Lance Zierlein).
While fans have become disenchanted with the lack of playoff success (0-7), there is no arguing that Lewis has been a net positive for a Cincinnati franchise that was lost at sea before he entered the picture.
“Marvin Lewis raised the Titanic,” former Bengals safety Solomon Wilcots once told NFL.com’s Dan Hanzus. “This team was at the bottom of the ocean when he came in. They are (now) a perennial playoff team.”
The speedy receiver’s tour of pre-draft visits was supposed to have concluded last week, but the Bengals came calling recently and scheduled a weekend meeting with Ross, per NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport.
Cincinnati has visited with other top rushers like FSU’s Dalvin Cook and Oklahoma’s Joe Mixon. The club also sent its RB coach to Texas RB D’Onta Foreman’s pro day.
The Bengals hold the No. 9 overall pick in Round 1, and the consensus among NFL.com analysts is that Fournette won’t be available when Cincinnati is on the clock. Fournette goes no later than No. 6 overall to the Jets in the latest mock drafts from the analysts.
At 6-foot-1, 226 pounds, Mixon is a dual-threat tailback with burst at the line of scrimmage and elusiveness at the second level and is a weapon in the passing game. The versatile player will have a chance to wrangle the starting gig as a rookie.
“From what I saw in college and one of the big reasons we brought him in is because he can do both [run and catch],” quarterback Andy Dalton said of Mixon earlier this month, via the team’s official website. “One of the things that helps with a guy that is versatile is you’re not tipping anything — you could be running the ball and you could be throwing it.”
The receiver signed a four-year, $17.1 million contract with a $10.6 million signing bonus, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported. The Bengals also agreed to pay Ross his full 2017 base salary if he’s on the non-football injury list, Rapoport added.
Ross, the former University of Washington wide receiver, clocked a 4.22-second 40-yard dash at the 2017 NFL Scouting Combine, breaking the record previously set by Chris Johnson in 2008 (4.24).